According to the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service, the first element to your input tax strategy is to charge output tax and claim input tax. You should do this as long as you can prove your claims and back them up with all the required documentation.
The second element to your input tax strategy is to know what you can claim.
And when it comes to taxable supplies (any supply of goods or services used in the course of business and is chargeable with tax), there are two requirements you must meet before you make a claim for your business.
Meet these two requirements to claim input tax on taxable supplies
Requirement#1: You must buy or get the goods or services for use or supply when you make a taxable supply; and
Requirement#2: You must charge Vat at the standard rate (14%) for those goods or services. You can't claim input tax on something that you bought at the zero-rate. This is because no Vat (or Vat at the zero-rate) was charged.
Here are some examples of business costs you can claim input tax on:
It's that simple. Knowing the two requirements your taxable supplies must meet for you to claim will ensure you get it right.